Wednesday, March 23, 2011

regent summer school | arts & culture courses

Regent College is my theological home, the place where I decided to become a professional actor, the place where I started hammering out my understanding of what the Creator has to do with my creating. Continuing in their long tradition of engaging with arts and culture, here's this summer's line-up - including sessions by two long-time friends, Crystal and David Downing.

Regent library photo by Nate Kay

Devotional Poets of the 17th Century: John Donne & George Herbert
Maxine Hancock
Come prepared to engage the poets of the seventeenth century with both heart and mind––with the same kind of wholeness with which they engage the conversation with and about God in poetry. We will look especially closely at the richly textured “Holy Sonnets” of John Donne and at selections from the apparently simple yet very complex poems of “The Temple” by George Herbert.
May 23–27

Writings of the Soul: Themes in Spiritual Autobiography
Sharon Jebb Smith
Ranging from his articulate soul-searching in Confessions through Julian of Norwich's visions, and Teresa of Avila's ecstasies, right up to more contemporary writings such as those of C.S. Lewis, Roberta Bondi, and Andrew Krivak, this course will explore eight profound spiritual autobiographies.
May 30–June 10

All That Jazz: A Christian Take
David Gill
Jazz music provides an intense and vivid reminder of key themes in Christian faith and life: the importance of knowing the "standards," the centrality of freedom and improvisation, passing the lead from one player to another, and the dynamic interaction among players and audiences. Lectures, discussions, video and audio clips, live music in class, readings, interviews, and field trips to the Vancouver International Jazz Festival.
June 27–July 1

Christ and the Poets: Theology and Modern Literature
Roger Lundin
Through the study of five writers who span the theological and cultural spectrum – Emily Dickinson, Fyodor Dostoevsky, W.H. Auden, Flannery O'Connor, and Czeslaw Milosz – we will explore the background to the renewal of Christology and key theological and cultural implications that have followed it. Also, selections from Karl Barth, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Hans Urs von Balthasar.
July 11–22

Beauty, Brokenness, and the Cross: Exploring Atonement Theology Through the Arts
Chelle Stearns
This class will explore the concept of beauty and brokenness. This exploration will be shaped by a theology of the cross that not only leads us to a Christian understanding of beauty but to an understanding that beauty, to be true beauty, must have the power to identify, confront, and redeem that which is most ugly—even death itself. Chelle has served in the church as a musician, teacher, and worship leader, and is an avid amateur musician.
July 11–22

Writing with Scripture: The Gift of Enigmatic Text
Scott Cairns
Scott's nine books include Compass of Affection, Short Trip to the Edge, and The End of Suffering. His current poetry-collection-in-progress is Idiot Psalms.
In this workshop, we will examine key distinctions between Greek and Hebrew attitudes towards words in general, and consider the consequent status of written texts, especially sacred texts and explications/ interpretations/commentaries of such scriptures. We will attend to examples from a long tradition of poetry that has developed as an imaginative examination of biblical narratives, and attempt poetic compositions of our own (probably in prose) in response to various brief and enigmatic scriptural passages.
July 25–29.

The Fiction of C.S. Lewis
David Downing
When C.S. Lewis turned his pen to fiction, he did not cease to be Lewis the Christian philosopher, Lewis the medieval scholar, or Lewis the literary critic. Lewis's fiction also bears the mark of his early years—the loss of his mother, the nightmare of World War I combat, as well as intense experiences of Sehnsucht, the longing ache for paradise. We will explore together the many layers of Lewis's fiction, reading The Pilgrim's Regress, Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, and The Silver Chair. Through lecture, readings, journals, discussion, and an interpretive essay, students will learn to understand and appreciate more fully one of the great minds, and great souls, of 20th century literature. July 25–29

Not directly arts-related, but on themes of Christianity & culture...

Theology of Culture
Hans Boersma
May 30–June 10

Changing Signs of Truth: The Influence of Culture on Christianity
Crystal Downing, Professor of English and Film Studies.
Resigned to the unalterable truth of salvation through Christ, how do we know when to re-sign Christian doctrine in order to communicate that Jesus is as relevant to someone with a twenty-first-century aesthetic as he was to a third-century ascetic? Crystal has published over 100 essays, ranging from Shakespeare to King Kong.
July 25–29, 1:15–4:15pm

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